May 16th might be National Mimosa Day, but every day is Mimosa Day if you’re living life right. (Drink responsibly)

A mimosa is many things. It’s a tree, it’s a flower, but most importantly, it’s an alcoholic beverage. Usually made with equal parts orange juice and Champagne, this boozy drink is a brunch staple.

So, grab your girlies and swing over to the nearest bougie cafe to get your hands on this socially acceptable morning cocktail.

Hot Shots:
A potential creator played a major role in the failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler
It’s named after a plant commonly used in homeopathic medicine
Alfred Hitchcock is amongst the people claimed to have created it
There isn’t just one way to make a mimosa

The Mimosa and Its Variations

The mimosa. The only notable rival to the Bloody Mary for the best breakfast drink. But if you’re picking right, you’re picking this citrusy goddess of a cocktail while enjoying your way-too-expensive eggs benedict.

Mimosas are best served in a Champagne flute, not only because there’s Champagne in the cocktail but because these flutes keep the bubbles in.

If making a big batch, keep the Champagne out of the mixture until right before serving, and add a splash of triple sec if you’re in major need of some extra strength.

The taste of a mimosa is only as good as the ingredients used. Because there are only two pieces to this puzzle, masking a bad flavor is out of the question. Pulp-free orange juice and chilled liquids are a must. To achieve the perfect balance, a sparkling wine labeled as “brut” is the better pairing since orange juice is already so sugary.

If orange juice isn’t your thing, or you’re bored after your third bottomless mimosa this morning, try out one of the many variations to this beverage.

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Switching up the juice can be a real gamechanger. Cranberry, peach (although that leans into Bellini territory), and pineapple juice are all great substitutes.

Or, for a little fresher option, adding a puree can elevate the drink. Popular candidates are watermelon, grapefruit, and pomegranate. Adding garnishes such as raspberries, strawberries, and even seasoning with pepper gives your mimosa a fresh new twist.

And don’t let being underage or pregnant deter you. Substituting ginger ale for the Champagne works as well! So, don’t be afraid to experiment with this simple base - the Mimosa is nothing if not friendly and flexible.

But Who the Heck Created It?

This seemingly simple drink has many origin stories. Perhaps because of its simplicity, many people could have created it without knowing it already existed. Popular in French wine country and brought to England by the British royals, many countries like to claim fame to this cocktail.

But the birth of the mimosa can be narrowed down to three people: Malachy “Pat” McGarry, Frank Meier, and Sir Alfred Hitchcock. Yes, you read that right - the master of suspense himself.

Malachy “Pat” McGarry: Man of Mystery

Malachy McGarry, who sometimes went by Pat, is mostly a man of mystery. What we do know about him is that he worked as a bartender at the Buck’s Club in London and potentially created the first version of the mimosa by accident.

The Buck’s Club was established in June of 1919 by Captain Herbert John Buckmaster originally for the survivors of the First World War, in which he served.

He came up with the idea of a London gentlemen’s club that served American cocktails while stationed in France. It was also here that he had the most delicious drink concocted from peach juice and Champagne.

When Captain Buckmaster (what a name…) returned and opened his club, he asked McGarry to recreate this fabulous French drink. Due to a lack of peach juice, McGarry substituted it with orange juice instead.

This two-part Champagne, one-part orange juice cocktail became known as the Buck’s Fizz (not to be confused with the 1981 Eurovision-winning band of the same name). Rumor has it that there were other ingredients in the original recipe, but it’s a mystery as to what the mystery secret sauce was.

Regardless, it gave gentlemen an excuse to start drinking before lunch, so who really cares what it was made of?

Not much else is known about McGarry, but some say that author P.G. Wodehouse might have modeled his fictional Drones Club after Buck’s. There was even a barman named McGarry, although there supposedly are disputes that the Drones Club doesn’t represent any such London club from the 1920s.

Frank Meier: Bartender or Spy?

The Hotel Ritz Paris is famous for its Bar Hemingway, but that’s not the only reason this hotel will make history books.

In 1921, Cafe Parisian opened up and their first head bartender, Frank Meier, was hired. Meier trained at New York’s Hoffman House hotel in 1903 and worked there for a few years before fleeing to France to escape Prohibition’s restrictive grasp.

Meier was talented at what he did. I mean, you don’t get to train in one of New York’s finest bars for nothing. He created a plethora of drinks, each with such care and craftsmanship that it’s both easy and difficult to believe that he could’ve been the mastermind behind the Mimosa.

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Frank Meier

In 1925, the Buck’s Fizz was already a thing, having been created four years prior. But Meier created a more diluted version of such a drink, equalling out the two ingredients. Surprisingly, while he did list the mimosa in his 1936 book The Artistry of Mixing Drinks, he didn’t take credit for it. Drinks he did credit himself for included the Bees’ Knees and the Seapea Fizz.

A Man of Many Talents

He was very successful at the Hotel Ritz Paris, not only because of his innovative drinks but also because of his hospitality toward guests. In his book, he had a whole section dedicated to Useful Formulas.

This chapter includes everything from cleaning tips to first aid to the history of horse racing. But he especially felt the need to emphasize the importance of creating a particular atmosphere. Colin Field, the current head bartender at the Hotel Ritz Paris, stated:

”[Meier] was the first head bartender to say that the role of the head bartender is not to be behind the bar, but in front of the bar as a host.”

But Meier’s hospitality extended past his duties as a hotel employee. When WWII started and the Nazis occupied Paris, the hotel and bar remained open. The Hotel Ritz Paris was the only Parisian hotel left that welcomed civilians while simultaneously housing the occupying forces.

Thanks to the hotel personnel’s schemes, Allied pilots, fugitives, Jews, and other members of the Resistance were able to secretly stay at the Ritz. Meier, despite being under surveillance by the Gestapo and having Jewish roots himself, risked his life and safety by providing fake IDs for the people looking to flee France.

Some sources, including documents from the German police force in Berlin (papers you do not want your name on), claim that Meier was part of the July 20th plot to kill Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring.

That’s the one immortalized in 2008’s Valkyrie starring Tom Cruise.

But Meier’s role was that of a liaison or note-passer between Hans Speidel and Carl von Stülpnagel, although he likely did not know the contents of the messages he was passing along.

Meier was eventually fired from the Ritz but not for the reasons listed above. It was stated that he was terminated for convincing some of the members to pay their bar tabs directly to his private London bank account.

There is speculation that before the war, Meier got a portion of sales at the bar and that maybe he was trying to regain some of that money. Others say he might have been attempting to limit the amount of money given to the owners as they were likely Nazi sympathizers. The world may never know.

Just think, you could be sipping the drink of the French resistance!

Sir Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Mimosas

Now, even I’ll admit it, this one is a reach. But multiple sources state that the English filmmaker Sir Alfred Hitchcock was the creator of the Mimosa.

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Sir Alfred Hitchcock, presumably ordering a Mimosa

Apparently, the morning after a hard night of drinking, Hitchcock and a friend used the concoction of orange juice and Champagne to fight off their hangover at a local San Francisco bar.

It seems more likely that he didn’t create the drink but rather popularized it as a brunch staple. Who knew the Master of Suspense was so trendy?

Long-Standing Trends

The Mimosa drink gets its name from none other than the mimosa tree. This is due to the bright yellow color of the tree’s flowers. First found in Africa and Asia, this plant has been part of many ancient cultures for a long time.

The mimosa plant has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. The bark and leaves were combined into a tonic to clean out the energetic pathways of the body while the flowers provided a spiritual boost.

Ancient Mayans even used the flowers to treat burns and other injuries.

In addition to the physical significance of the plant, the mimosa flowers also have symbolic meaning. There’s no one thing the world has agreed that the flower symbolizes, but some say gifting mimosas could reveal the nature of a secret love.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t need the mimosa flower to get that vibe. Pass me another drink at brunch, and I’ll give you a second look.

Other meanings include increased safety or sensitivity, sense, and good sensibility; showing that you wish to “expand” your life in some way, whether that be travel, family, career, etc.

The flower, which goes by other names such as the silver or blue wattle and its scientific name acacia dealbata, also has ties to Women’s Day.

The next time you have a mimosa, whether it’s because you’re spending the morning pregaming for a bachelorette party or because you had a little too much fun the night before, remember where the cocktail started. Or if you can’t remember due to the reasons just listed, at least enjoy the guilt-free way to get tipsy before noon.

Classic Mimosa Recipe

1 Bottle (750 ml) of Champagne
3 Cups of Orange Juice
1 Raspberry or Strawberry for garnish (optional)

In a pitcher, pour 3 cups of orange juice and chill in the refrigerator.
Right before serving, add the chilled bottle of Champagne to the mixture.
Pour into Champagne flutes.
Garnish with a raspberry or strawberry.